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April 16, 2021

Pakistan to continue to work for lasting Afghan peace, stability: FO

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April 16, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Thursday supported the United States (US) decision to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan and said that it was important that the withdrawal of foreign troops from the neighbouring country coincided with the progress in the peace process. It reiterated that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and a negotiated political solution through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process is important for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

“In this regard, we support the principle of responsible troop withdrawal in coordination with Afghan stakeholders. We also hope the US will continue to urge the Afghan leaders to seize this historic opportunity for achieving a political settlement in Afghanistan,” said the Foreign Office (FO).

President Joe Biden has announced starting withdrawal of all American troops from Afghanistan from May 1, 2021, and the process will complete by Sept 11, 2021. The US will miss its own May 1 exit deadline in what is being described as the country’s longest war.

“Pakistan will continue to work together with the international community in the efforts for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan. It has been consistently supporting and facilitating the efforts for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan,” said the FO.

In this regard it pointed to the US-Taliban Agreement of 29 February 2020 which laid the foundation for a comprehensive intra-Afghan peace agreement including a permanent ceasefire for bringing an end to violence in Afghanistan.

“We hope that the forthcoming meeting of Afghan leadership in Turkey would be an important opportunity for Afghans to make progress towards a negotiated political settlement,” it added.

As the US troops prepare to leave and uncertainty prevails, Pakistan also called for a meaningful engagement of the international community for promoting reconstruction and economic development in the post-conflict Afghanistan is important for ensuring sustainable peace and stability.

“Pakistan has consistently reiterated that peace and stability in Afghanistan is in our interest. Pakistan reaffirms its abiding commitment for a peaceful, stable, united, democratic, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan,” said the Foreign Office.

Pakistan believes that another key feature in the efforts for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan should be a time-bound and well-resourced plan for return of Afghan refugees to their homeland and their reintegration in Afghanistan.